In a cataclysm known as the Nightfall, the worlds were almost completely destroyed by a harrowing surge of darkness.
In the shadows of the ensuing chaos a new group has taken shape. Led by an Aegyl named Kalos, the 11th Hour touts an esoteric knowledge of how to combat the darkness and restore the worlds. They might be the worlds’ best chance at survival; but nobody really knows enough about them to confirm or deny their claims.
On the brink of collapse, the universe holds its breath in anticipation. Of restoration? Of destruction? It is up to individuals like yourself to decide.
A special thank you to ChasingArtwork of Deviantart, who allowed us to use this stellar banner image.
There aren't enough praises in the world I'd like to give to wonderful coders for the Proboards community. The following have contributed to World Destiny in some way: W3 Schools for countless how-tos and countless of other souls who have helped get WD up to where it is.
Post by Arete Megalos on Dec 22, 2020 20:41:55 GMT -4
She had nothing better to do.
Oh, did she have nothing better to do.
So this was really the best she could do-
-with her very valuable time.
"Gamo...Parte to, parte o ti echo!" Arete swore through gritting teeth as she tore the pipe from the wall of the alleyway, stomping her sandaled feet in the newly formed puddle that her destruction had managed to rain down on her. Throwing her head back she laughed, a barking sound that came out rather forced as she reveled in the spraying water and tossed her arms in the air- raised fists pumping as she held the damaged pipe in her grasp before swinging it into the brick with another mighty-
-as more brick and concrete rained down into the absolutely demolished alleyway. She'd been doing this for about three years now. Never the same alley, but always the same actions. Destructive actions. But then, there was no other outlet for her to relieve herself in that world. They had no bouts, no coliseum, no battles or wars.
Occasionally she would hear of something in relation to a bot or bottle war, but each time she turned up to see what all the hushed hub bub was about it was almost as though she were watching children playing with straw dolls- except these were so much more advanced than that.
Bots, robots, robotics, machines- it was all very interesting and entertained her about as much as fire did when she was a toddler, clapping her hands at the way it danced away from her father's breath each time he huffed a laugh in its general direction. It just wasn't her scene. Sitting around in a darkened aqueduct or abandoned sewer way as someone played music in the distance and the crowd cheered on their favorite plaything.
"Gamo, gamo, ai gamisou!" she slammed the pipe into the ground, shattering the metal into shrapnel as it flew from her grasp and sparks danced on her fingertips.
Definitely not within her realm of vivid interests.
"Give me something to do!" she howled into the emptiness of the heavens, the magic weapon she'd been granted all that time ago flashing into her angry fist as she swung it into the empty night air and pointed at the flickering stars, "ANYTHING!"
Chest heaving, face red, she swung the blade down with such ferocity and anger in her grasp that lightning rained down with her swing and struck into the earth where the head of the blade impaled the tarmac riddled backstreet. Thunder soon followed and before she knew what was happening she was kneeling in darkness. The faint sound of sirens and car alarms coupled with the shadows of bustling voices in the distance having her lifting a weakened gaze to the visible opening of the alleyway as she waited for someone, anyone, to turn the corner and find her.
"Someone..." her voice broke, emptiness and a deep loneliness breeching the surface of her usually angry and off-putting demeanor, "Anyone?"
Shaking her head slowly, she knew the enforcers would be there soon. They always followed these blackouts that she caused when her frustrations really became too much for the neighborhoods she visited and the first time she came in contact with them was honestly the last she ever wanted to experience.
It was time to disappear.
Shaking off the droplets from the still spraying water overhead, she rose to her feet, tugging her blade from the earth and raising it to tap on her shoulder and free any displaced rubble from its teeth before a light flashed in her eyes and two large wings suddenly shone into existence on her back. With an effortless flap, they lifted her from the earth and up she went. Out of the alleyway and to the roof of a nearby building where she perched to wait and watch.
Post by Maxwell Tendas on Dec 22, 2020 22:11:14 GMT -4
Max plodded wearily down the street, rubbing his heavy-lidded, black-ringed eyes against the bright lights of the strange city in which he found himself. The return of his memories had not been kind to him since his return from Castle Oblivion with the others. The time between episodes had been decreasing, some of them even coming to him in his dreams when he slept. If he slept, such as the night before. Last night he had been in a deep sleep when one such episode of returning memories came to him. It had been the memory of his first large battle, which had just so happened to be the bloodiest and most brutal of the war. He had experienced everything again, as if he had completely re-lived the moment, leaving the sights, sounds, and smells imprinted on his brain for the last two days. It wasn't anything he wouldn't have been able to handle though, if not for the last memory which had shown itself.
It was of shortly afterward, when he'd gone back home to Woods End with Donovan and Wren only to find their once welcoming home a smoking ruin populated by nothing but corpses. After the trauma of such a bloody battle, Max lost his mind and raced for the only other avenue out of the village but the road they had come in on: the river. That was where he found them, on a boat headed downstream in an attempt to escape, confident and cheering at having cut off timber production for the crown. He'd turned the cheers into screams though, and left the river running red with their blood before he was done with them.
He swallowed and pushed the thoughts from his head, and continued down the street. The thoughts of what he'd done to those men that day had kept him from sleep so far this night, and so he had decided to go for a walk to get some fresh air and clear his mind. He needed to get the things he'd done out of his head. He knew that wasn't who he really was. At least that's what he told himself as he walked along the streets of San Fransokyo.
He was brought out of his thoughts by a cacophony of sound coming from a nearby alleyway, the sounds of a fight clearly distinct above the normal sounds of this bright city. Grateful for something to clear his mind, he laid a hand on Quicksilver's pommel and raced towards it as the city's residents ran away, screaming for help. He pushed past them gently and came to the mouth of the alleyway that the noise seemed to originate from only to find a very broken pipe spewing water everywhere. His heavy-booted feet splashed in the runoff as he stepped into the alleyway, walking slowly towards the pipe to investigate...
Post by Arete Megalos on Dec 22, 2020 22:44:33 GMT -4
Arete didn't know what to make of the mortal that entered the alleyway after she'd departed. He seemed slow moving and careful, but also investigative and intrigued. He also had a sword. The glint of the steel on the pommel headed blade made her heart thud dramatically in her chest and roar life into her ears as she stared, her heart pounding, eyes suddenly dilating with need- need for action- need for battle- need for blood-
She tried to push it down, push back the instinct to bother and bully, to engage, but there it was, forcing her headfirst off the building perch she'd been crouching on, her wings wrapped tightly around her body as she plummeted before she unfurled them and landed feet first on the man's shoulders.
If she had been in eagle form, claws and talons would have been tearing into flesh and fabric, but now all she could do was set her sandaled feet upon his person and grapple with his neck and head. Plopping down more fully, she wrapped her legs around his neck and slid her arms around his head, practically covering him with her body as she cackled and flapped her enormous wings. Giving herself enough purchase to pull him back, up and off his feet before dropping him down into the puddle she'd created with her previous destruction.
"There we go, there we go-" she cawed, laughing again as she held tightly to his head and shoulders, rocking him ever more into the muddled mess beneath them as she clutched and tugged at his head in an attempt to bother him to an exhaustingly extreme degree. She could still hear the sirens and the cacophony of panicked residents somewhere behind her, but now her ears were roaring with the glee of anticipated satisfaction and no- none of that mattered to her anymore, "Nice and comfortable in the drink, aren't we peasant?"
She grinned as she pressed her cheek to his head and nuzzled his ear, sharp teeth inches from a nibble as her wings folded into her back and the concentration on the flight spell wore off, making her wings vanish in a flash of light. Now she was busy, now she would need to focus on her grip and how tight her legs were wrapping around the man's throat and windpipe.
Just enough to restrict, to make him gasp, but not enough to induce unconsciousness...where would be the fun in that?
Post by Maxwell Tendas on Dec 22, 2020 23:03:04 GMT -4
Normally Max would have been much more alert, his instincts warning him to keep an eye on his back. He was exhausted and distracted at the moment, however, and so he didn't know what was happening until it was too late. He looked up in surprise as he felt a weight settle onto his shoulders, and then legs wrapped around his neck. As something he could only assume were arms reached around his head and he was lifted off the ground, he reached up with one hand to loosen the grip of the legs on his throat as he reached for the handle of his sword with his right. It did him no good, however, as he was brought back to the ground on his belly, his face being pressed into the very puddle he was standing in moments before.
"There we go, there we go," what sounded like a young girl's voice giggled in his ear, "Nice and comfortable in the drink, aren't we peasant?"
The comment enraged him, his exhaustion momentarily forgotten among the adrenaline now pumping through the soldier's veins. He didn't know who this girl was, or what she wanted, but she clearly did not know what she was getting herself into. He reached out with his power to the water coming from the pipe and formed it into a large sphere. He then promptly used it to cover the girl's entire head.
"Get off me now, and I won't drown you," He growled out, still pulling on one of her legs with one hand. He used the other to push himself back to his feet and straightened himself, waiting for her grip to loosen....
Post by Arete Megalos on Dec 22, 2020 23:18:32 GMT -4
When the man struggled beneath her, it made her heart flutter with excitement. Three long years of waiting for a tussle such as this lacing her veins with a type of repressed adrenaline that had her bracing herself against his bucks and motions to rise. All it did was make her tighten her hold on him, thighs squeezing his throat as her hands and arms wrapped to cover his eyes- only to have her head submerged in a sudden wash of water.
She blinked for the briefest of moments in surprise at what was happening to her, but being from a world where Gods could transform into bulls and swans and she herself could control the very electricity in the air, she knew a water spell when she felt one.
And this one was definitely a doozy.
"Pote!" she spoke into the watery orb, her words garbled as bubbles escaped her maw and she clamped down on a waning breath of air she'd so luckily managed to inhale before she'd been engaged in this sudden game of water logged chicken. Gurgling in her entrapment, she just tightened her hold and pulled back on him- trying her hardest to use what little weight she had to throw around to bring him back to the ground and face first into the cracked pavement outside of the puddle.
Having him stand while she still latched to his head and shoulders was more than a bit embarrassing for her, but she wasn't just about to give up.
Post by Maxwell Tendas on Dec 22, 2020 23:38:34 GMT -4
As the water slid into place over the girl's head, he felt her grip tighten. His fatigued, single-handed grip on her legs was doing him no good and so he let go just in time for her to throw her weight around enough to drop him to the ground again, right on his face. He hit the pavement with a loud grunt and the taste of copper filled his mouth. He spit blood out onto the ground and grunted as he pushed himself up onto his hands and knees, his lean muscle straining not only against his attacker but also his fatigue.
Remaining on all fours for stability, he attempted to punch the girl in the side as hard as he could manage. His blows ended up being ineffective, either not impacting her hard enough or directly enough. One had even missed completely and he'd wound up punching himself in the head.
Angry and gasping for breath, he decided he was done with this game. He turned the water around the girl's head to solid ice in an instant, and then grabbed for more water. He sent it snaking in tendrils around her, covering every inch of her arms and legs and used it to force her grip to loosen. Once he had himself free, he used the water with a grip on her to slam her up against the wall, shards of shattered ice flying through the air as he drew Quicksilver. Holding her firmly to the wall with the water, he put the tip of his black blade to her throat with a sneering growl as he looked her straight in the eyes. A mixture of fatigue and adrenaline had his head swimming almost as if he were drunk as he thought about putting an end to her right then and there.
That's not who you are though, he thought to himself as his eyes closed against the images of what he'd done in that river. He opened his eyes again as he sheathed his sword again and stepped back. The effects of the adrenaline were already beginning to wear off, his fatigue returning. His strength flagged and he let the water drop the girl back to the pavement.
"You're not a heartless, so I'm letting you walk away this time," he said, turning to walk back down the alleyway, "I can't deal with this shit right now. "
Post by Arete Megalos on Dec 23, 2020 0:05:20 GMT -4
He punched at her and she felt the blow shiver through her taught muscles as pleasure rather than pain. It made her shudder as she held back a gasp in return for a low rumbling groan of encouragement.
Keep it up, she wanted to say, I can do this all day!
But the reality of the situation was she couldn't. She wasn't able to breathe underwater and what little supply of oxygen she'd inhaled before the orb had become her helmet was depleting with each blow he landed on her, and not himself- something that made her shake in amusement and loosened up even more bubbles from her tight lipped grimace of an expression- but what really got to her...was the sudden freeze that overtook and suddenly weighed down the rest of her body as the watery orb froze solid and took her with it.
If that had been the end of it, she would have just toppled off of him in exchange for bashing at her own entrapped cranium, but no, no, he wasn't done with her yet.
Water snaked around her limbs, climbing from the pool she'd previously dumped him in and pulling her up and over to the wall where she found herself freed from her would be icey tomb and pinned not only by the power he wielded with the water at his command, but also by the blade that had drawn her to him in the first place. Blinking back frozen remains and shivering at the touch of cold steel against her already frosty neck, and returned his direct stare. Locking eyes with him as she smiled smoothly.
"Prochora," she licked her lower lip slowly, tongue sticking to the still frozen skin there but only momentarily as she drew in a hot breathe and moved against the restraints he had her under, "Why do you hesitate?"
Her neck pressed back against the blade as she moved, tightening the tension against her skin without breaking it before he was moving away and releasing her; mumbling about her not being 'heartless' and him being unable to 'deal'. Her smile fell as she did, free to catch herself as the water dispersed and she landed on her feet with a bit of a head swimming wobble. She would have pitched forward, but she caught herself on the wall with a fisted hand and called after him.
"Coward, deilos- to turn your back on a challenger," she snapped, spitting on the ground as heat rose to her face and all feelings of appreciation she might have had for the snarl he showed her washed out of her mind and lightened the tightening in her chest, "We are not finished here, peasant!"
Post by Maxwell Tendas on Dec 23, 2020 11:20:09 GMT -4
This girl, who he could now clearly see barely came up to his chest at full height, had to be insane. All she did with a blade to her throat was ask him why he hesitated, and now that he was walking away she taunted him. If she had called him anything but a coward, he could have walked away. That one word, however, made him stop and clench his fist. He was many things, but coward was not among them. His first inclination at the moment was to prove that to this girl-with-a-death-wish in ways she would regret, but he took a deep breath and let it out slowly to calm himself before he turned around. He wasn't entirely sure if it was the stress of reliving his returning memories or the sleep deprivation or recent events or even a combination of all three, but the control he'd learned to exercise over his temper had slipped. Luckily he was still able to maintain control, and he prayed he never lost that control.
As he faced the girl he locked eyes with her, an unmistakable steel in his gaze which one would be hard pressed to find in even most battle hardened veterans.
"There can be no challenge if you've already lost," he said, reaching out with his power to bring a small ball of water to himself, "I'm not going to fight someone to the death when the heartless are running rampant and destroying worlds."
As he spoke, he formed the ball of water into the form of a shadow, the small watery effigy of darkness dancing and twitching in his hand eerily similar to how shadows actually moved.
"If you want a fight, go find some of these things," he continued, turning the shadow into the shape of a soldier, and then into several other varieties of heartless, "You'll know them by their glowing yellow eyes."
He then turned the water back into a ball and sent it splashing against the wall to one side, the steel in his gaze noticeably hardening further, "But if you have a death wish, go find a bridge and jump off, because I'll have no part of it."
Post by Arete Megalos on Dec 23, 2020 11:33:44 GMT -4
Arete smirked when he turned, the notion that her words had finally reached through to bother him enough to stop making her feel a little higher on that pedestal she loved to place herself on at the best of times. Steadying herself, ensuring that her head wasn't just going to go spinning off again from the frozen orb incident mere moments before, she straightened and placed both hands on her hips as she tilted her chin back. Chest puffed out and forward as she listened to whatever excuses he had to make for himself on why he hadn't just finished their tussle on the spot.
Zeus knew she deserved it.
Styx awaited her eagerly and she had no fear of crossing it to meet the boatman, especially if that meant dying at the hands of a warrior, but, the more she listened, the more deflated her posture became until she was just crossing her arms and hunching forward. Pouting. This man was indeed a warrior, and by the look in his eyes a seasoned one at that, but what he was spouting made little sense to her- nor did she care about these heartless beings- what did bother her...was that he'd said she lost.
"I have no death wish, for to wish for death is but a waste of breathe- death comes for us whether we wish it or not- so I will seek no bridge to jump..." she scoffed and turned her cheek to him, lips jutting forward as she grumbled a low response, "But how dare you insinuate that I lost, I am not the one who resorted to magic in a duel of strength."
Although she respected the control he had over the element of water, she wasn't beyond harboring a bit of ill will for having her head frozen in the midst of a wrestling match. Throw her, grab her, punch her- she was fine with that, but having her physical strength out weighed by that of magic?
Post by Maxwell Tendas on Dec 23, 2020 12:37:00 GMT -4
Max wasn’t entirely sure what he expected, but he did know that he didn’t expect the girl to reacted by crossing her arms and pouting like a petulant child. As she spoke about not having a death wish, surprisingly enough, she turned her head away from him with her arms crossed and her shoulders hunched. Then she expressed outrage at him using magic in “a duel of strength,” as she had put it. Max just chuckled in response, shaking his head.
“You can’t just attack someone you don’t know without warning and expect them to not use everything against you,” he shrugged, waving her off, “Besides, if you can’t best someone when they’re fighting you with everything they’ve got, magic or no magic, then you haven’t truly won.”
He realized now that this girl was not insane, but rather she was just immature and foolish as evidenced by her assumptions about what attacking him was and her pouting at having lost. His fatigue was once again temporarily forgotten as he just laughed at the absurdity of the situation he’d found himself in.
“What’s your name, crazy girl?” He asked with a chuckle, “Mine is Max.”
Post by Arete Megalos on Dec 23, 2020 13:02:46 GMT -4
Arete listened to him closely, despite the outwardly repulsing appearance of her stance. Looking at him out of the corner of her eye, she heaved a great sigh and shrugged her shoulders, rolling them out of the crossed arm hunch and flexing a bit as she refocused and tried to push past the feeling of fluttering in her chest when he laughed.
His words made sense to her, and she hated that, but she wasn't against turning a loss- something that she would likely never admit to aloud- into a learning situation.
"If that is indeed everything that you got, peasant, then look forward to round two," she was smirking again as she took a few steps forward and stopped at a close distance from him, causing her to have to tilt her chin up to look into his eyes, "As I was just warming up."
Putting up her arm, she made a fist in greeting than paused- momentarily forgetting that she was no longer in Zarafona and thus this wasn't a form of kinship that people used on this world. Shaking her head, she forced a smile through the sudden frown that had overtaken her features and shrugged her shoulders again, placing her dominant hand on her hip as she continued to look up at him.
"Megalos, Arete the Great," she looked at her nails as she spoke, confidence pouring out of her in waves, "But you, Max, can call me Arete. That would be acceptable."
Post by Maxwell Tendas on Dec 23, 2020 14:29:13 GMT -4
As Max introduced himself the girl let out a sigh and uncrossed her arms, flexing them a bit as she did so. Max could also swear he saw the faintest hint of red in her face as he laughed, though he attributed this to the embarrassment she'd seemed to exhibit after he mentioned she had lost the fight.
"If that is indeed everything that you got, peasant, then look forward to round two," She said, walking up to stand close in front of him, "As I was just warming up."
She began to raise a fist, but an awkward look on her face and shake of her head told him it was some sort of greeting from wherever she came from. It made him wonder if that was this San Fransokyo place or if perhaps she was from some other world that had been swallowed by darkness. Regardless, it only lasted a moment before she smiled and put a hand on her hip, introducing herself as Arete the Great and giving him permission to just call her by Arete. He raised an eyebrow at her, wondering if "the Great" was something others had given her or if it was a title she had given herself. Based on their brief encounter here in the alleyway, he decided it was likely the latter.
"Well, Arete, if you're so keen for a round two, I can oblige," he said, holding up a hand to interrupt any outbursts of excitement before he could continue, "But I need some sleep first. We could meet back in this alleyway tomorrow afternoon maybe?"
Post by Arete Megalos on Dec 23, 2020 14:48:58 GMT -4
Arete peeked up at him at some point during her nail examination, smiling slowly when he mentioned obliging her request, but putting up a hand to further solidify his own requisite to the challenge. Sleep. She dropped her hand and gave him an easy once over with her ever golden gaze- he did look a little worse for wear. Not including the damage she'd done to his face and the spot of blood she could see drying on his lip.
She suddenly became all to aware of her own staring, and had to clear her throat and raise her hand to cover the heat she could feel rising to her cheek as she glanced away. Busying herself with examining the space the two were meant to be meeting.
It was still in an awful state from her earlier tantrum, and there was a part of her that wanted to keep him away from the puddle of stagnant water that was reforming from the bout they'd had a few moments prior-
"No...not here," she turned back to him, hand still on her cheek as she looked up to meet his gaze once more, "The enforcers will be here soon, if not already, and I am sure they would prefer we take our bout to a much more open arena compared to this...awful, place."
Made awful by her own hand, but still, it was cramped and uneven in footing. This would be no place to give him her all and have him do the same in turn.
"There is a clearing not but a few yonder paces north of here, the trees are abundant, but that should give us a bit of privacy," she cleared her throat again and ran a hand through her mussed hair, only now realizing that the frost had left it damp and clinging to her forehead as she removed the headphones and left them to ring about her neck, revealing pointed ears beneath all the tawny hair, "Can you afford to remember such a place?"
Post by Maxwell Tendas on Dec 23, 2020 15:14:45 GMT -4
An expected smile spread across Arete's face as he mentioned obliging her on a round two. Maybe she wasn't crazy or foolish like he'd thought originally, but just overly eager and energetic. Regardless, she seemed at least somewhat able to handle herself in a fight, and sparring of one sort or another would be a good way to keep himself strong and sharp. He'd never had to worry about this in Twilight Town, what with the abundance of Heartless to constantly fight off. It seemed San Fransokyo was a bit safer, though, so he needed to do something to stay in shape and to take up free time.
He noticed her look away from him quickly, her face noticeably red this time despite having her hand on her face. He raised an eyebrow as she surveyed the alleyway around them. She couldn't still be embarrassed about losing to him earlier, could she? She turned back to him though, telling him that some "enforcers" would be along soon and that they shouldn't come back here. She suggested a clearing with trees just a short ways north, though, and he nodded.
"All right, I'll meet you there in the middle of the afteroon," He said through a yawn, placing his hands on his head and stretching his arms and torso. Without another word, he turned back towards the Home Base they had set up and his new bed, and he felt himself actually get excited. Sweet Relana, how much did it say about the conditions they had endured in Twilight Town to be excited about a bed?
Post by Arete Megalos on Dec 23, 2020 18:21:11 GMT -4
In Aphrodite's name, she liked him. A man of few words, who got straight to the point? She watched him go and couldn't help, but bite her lower lip, sucking in the plumpest bit as she contemplated his meandering away and wondered just where he'd been throughout the three years she'd been spending destroying alleys and abandoned cars parked in the wrong place at the wrong time. With his leaving, she could hear the sirens howl grow to a roar as the flashing lights of the enforcers drew to just outside the alleyway and electricity began to return to the home's in the buildings surrounding her.
Breaking her concentration off of the one she would call Max, she summoned her wings and lifted into the air. Using the walls of the enclosed space to kick off from as she launched herself ever higher into the sky until she'd cleared the last rooftop and was soaring from the scene she'd left behind.
Thoughts of engaging with Max still dancing sweetly in her mind as she flit off into the distance and alighted in one of the trees in the park clearing that she had mentioned previously.
For three years she'd been living in these trees. Sleeping in the safety of the over flourished boughs as she hopped from tree top to tree top and dreamt of better days, days when she was with her family and when a cot was her sanctuary at night. Not that she wasn't grateful for the trees, Phaunus be praised, but what her wings and the branches of the trees couldn't support her in their cradling a bed more than made up for in comfort.
It was a bed after all.
Arete found herself musing the state of her bed, the loss of her parents and her world, and the guilt she felt for having survived when no one else she knew had as she slowly drifted off to sleep.
When she woke, it was still early in the morning. She blinked back tears of the dreams of her past and yawned, stretching hard into the air as her wings dissipated and she fell to the ground from the tree. Landing easily as she continued to stretch, moving this way and that before she began her usual morning jog and training session in the clearing she'd come to call home.
Whenever Max showed, whether he showed or not, he would arrive on a scene of a topless Arete, her breasts concealed only by the thinnest of fabric as she swung her mysterious blade freely into the air and tested the resistance of her weapon.
Concentration focused on her own training, she would hear no one approach.